Hike, bike, and balloon in the Upper Ogden Valley

Virginia Rainey  – May 8, 2006


From Salt Lake City, drive north on I-15, then head east on I-84. Take exit 92 and follow signs to Eden or Huntsville. Visit www.ovba.org for more info.

Snow still lingers on the alpine peaks surrounding tiny Eden and Huntsville, Utah ― separated by just a short stroll or cycle ― but down in the Upper Ogden Valley, summer is in full swing. Mountain bikers tackle the area’s panorama- and lupine-lined trails while hikers ramble alongside, on the lookout for moose, eagles, and mountain lions and working up an appetite for raspberry milkshakes and coconut cream pie.

South Skyline Trail
A moderate 9.5-mile jaunt with a few heart-pumping switchbacks and plenty of views. Trail maps and wheels at Diamond Peak Mountain Sports (rentals from $20 a day; 2429 State Hwy. 158, Eden; 801/745-0101). Where: Trailhead off State 158 (1 mile northeast of the Pineview Dam).

Hot-air balloon rides
Super-scenic sunrise journeys through the clear June sky. (The Ogden Valley Balloon Festival is Aug 18-20.) When: Dawn-10 a.m. How much: From $80; reserve with WindRider (801/771-3125). Where: Wolf Creek Resort, 3700 N. Wolf Creek Dr., Eden.

Needles Express Gondola
An 8,800-foot-elevation coast, looking down on the 2002 Winter Olympics venue. At the top, tromp through the season’s last snow or lunch on the deck of the Needles Lodge. When: Fri-Sun Jun 23-mid-Oct. How much: $8, $5 ages 7-12, ages 6 and under free. Where: 3925 Snowbasin Rd., Huntsville; www.snowbasin.com or 801/620-1000. 

Holy Trinity Abbey
Trappist monastery and gift shop carrying local creamed honey and freshly ground peanut butter. When: Mon-Sat. Where: 1250 South 9500 East, Huntsville; 801/745-3784.

Bear Lake raspberries made into delicious milkshakes. When: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. How much: $. Where: 7345 East 900 South (on State 39), Huntsville; 801/745-3542.

The Eden General Store & Diner
An 1890s dance hall turned diner serving up coconut cream pie. When: Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Mon-Sat. How much: $$. Where: 5510 East 2200 North, Eden; 801/745-2400.

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